President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Professor Biodun Ogunyemi has submitted that parents and students may have to bear with them for a little longer as the strike by the union continues.
This, he stated on Thursday during his appearance on Channels Television where he gave an update on the union’s negotiation with the federal government.
Responding to a question on the willingness of the lecturers to return to classes despite the current inability of ASUU and the government to reach a conclusion, Ogunyemi responded; “I believe our students and their parents would understand.”
“If we have lecturers that have not been paid for eight, nine months, how can we have that person putting in his or her best in a system?
“If people are going back to the universities and they will be paid less of their usual salary, how can we cope with that?”
Earlier, the ASUU president had disclosed that the union was not ready to go back on its demand that University lecturers should not be placed on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) platform.
He argued that IPPIS can’t work in the University environment as it doesn’t recognize some of the allowances expected to be paid to lecturers.
Prof Ogunyemi maintained that this has been responsible for the gross underpayment experienced by some of its members in the past with some lecturers going home with as little as N8,000 at the end of the month due to unnecessary deductions by the IPPIS platform.
“The issue of what we call amputated salary came into it because the IPPIS platform was not designed for the university system.
“So, the platform does not recognize negotiated agreements like we are talking about allowance – unacademic allowances, research journal, and other things,” he said.
He added, “In fact, there were professors that were paid like N8,000 in some months on our campuses. So, we don’t expect anything otherwise because that platform was not meant for the university system.”
The ASUU president further exxplained that the IPPIS platform deducts taxes from allowances of lecturers, making some of them lose as much as 50-70 percent of their salaries on a monthly basis.
He therefore explained that though IPPIS may work for other civil servants, it can not work in a university environment because it wasn’t designed with their peculiarities in mind.